Barcelona vs Valencia predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Catalans aim for a morale boosting victory.
|Sunday 17th October 2021
|21:00 (local time)
Barcelona vs Valencia Preview
The late game on Sunday comes from Camp Nou as two troubled giants of the Spanish game meet. Both Barcelona and Valencia fall into the crisis club category due to severe financial struggles in recent years. That has inevitably impacted matters on the pitch but there is just enough light for supporters of both clubs to find reasons to be positive moving forwards.
For Barcelona fans that comes, as it so often has, in the next generation of young talents and academy graduates. Pedri has already outlined his qualities and signed a new five year deal this week. He is carrying an injury currently which gave fellow teenager Gavi a chance to make surprise starts for Spain in the Nations League and the midfielder more than grabbed it with a classy showing in the Semi-Final win over Italy where he became La Roja’s youngest ever international.
That shouldn’t mask the problems Barca have on the pitch right now though. Ronald Koeman remains clinging on to his job but can’t really afford any more setbacks after a desperate week prior to the international break where the Catalan giants slumped to 3-0 defeat in Lisbon against Benfica in the Champions League before losing 2-0 against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
As for Valencia, they made a bright start to life under new boss Jose Bordalas but a bit like their opponents in this game, the cracks started to appear once they lost a few first teamers to injury. As is the case with Barca, Valencia’s first choice XI should still be very competitive on paper, although when key men such as Carlos Soler and Jose Gaya are missing, they are far less of a threat for opposing teams.
They’ve gone 4 matches without a win in LaLiga now having drawn 0-0 at Cadiz in their last outing. They had the better openings in that game although it was anything but a classic with the two styles cancelling one another out to some extent. They are likely to look to play on the break here and try to cause problems for their hosts with the pace of Goncalo Guedes and the international break has at least enabled them to get a few players back to full fitness.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Barcelona Wins, 2 Valencia Wins, 2 Draws.
- Both sides scored twice or more in both games last season.
- Barcelona won 3-2 at Mestalla in May after a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.
- Valencia have avoided defeat on 2 of their last 3 trips to Barcelona, scoring twice on every visit.
Pedri, Araujo and Martin Braithwaite are out for the hosts. Ousmane Dembélé and Sergio Aguero are closer to fitness but this game may come too soon.
Omar Alderete is the only significant absentee for the visitors who have Carlos Soler and Jose Gaya back again following injuries.
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Alba, Garcia, Pique, Dest – Gavi, Busquets, De Jong – Depay, De Jong, Fati (4-3-3)
Predicted Valencia Starting Lineup:
Cillessen – Gaya, Diakhaby, Paulista, Correia – Duro, Guillamon, Wass, Soler – Gomez, Guedes (4-4-2)
Barcelona vs Valencia Predictions
Score Prediction: Barcelona 2-2 Valencia
With Ronald Araujo injured, it’s likely Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique will form a central defensive pairing for Barcelona and Valencia will fancy they can get at them with the pace of Guedes while the return of Carlos Soler is also a huge plus for the visitors. Ansu Fati should be a bit sharper now though and Barcelona still have the quality to pose plenty of problems for Valencia so a decent game looks likely but it wouldn’t be a major surprise if Barcelona dropped more points here.